The Justice Department said Monday it has accessed data on the iPhone used by a shooter in last year's San Bernardino, California, attacks and no longer needs Apple's help in cracking it.
The DOJ asked a California judge to drop an order requiring the tech giant to help the FBI unlock the phone. The government sought data as part of the investigation into the attack, which left 14 people dead.
"Our decision to conclude the litigation was based solely on the fact that, with the recent assistance of a third party, we are now able to unlock that iPhone without compromising any information on the phone," said U.S. Attorney Eileen Decker in a statement.
"Although this step in the investigation is now complete, we will continue to explore every lead, and seek any appropriate legal process, to ensure our investigation collects all of the evidence related to this terrorist attack," Decker said.
The DOJ's action comes after weeks of wrangling with Apple that ignited fierce rhetoric about the limits of privacy and data security. Apple and others in the tech community said they feared the order would set a dangerous precedent, while officials previously noted they wanted help to unlock only the phone in question.
A hearing on the matter set for last week was postponed after the government said it needed time to test a third-party method that would not require Apple's aid. The DOJ did not identify who helped it access the data or what method they used.